More than 50% of critically ill patients receive 1 or more sedative agents to minimize agitation and anxiety. Society of Critical Care Medicine guidelines recommend use of a first-line, nonbenzodiazepine sedative during mechanical ventilation. Dexmedetomidine is increasingly used, but variations in patients’ responses do exist. Smithburger and colleagues studied 38 adult intensive care unit (ICU) patients to examine the relationship between specific patient characteristics and the effectiveness of a continuous dexmedetomidine infusion. Findings include the following:

Further research with larger samples is needed to validate these findings.

—Rhonda Board, rn, phd, ccrn

See Article, pp 160–165

Have you ever questioned the effect of backrest elevation of 30° used for prevention of ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) on skin integrity? Lippoldt and colleagues measured sacral interface pressure (SIP) in 6 positions with 4 types of mattresses in 20 healthy volunteers with a median...

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